Workplace Sexual Harassment: How Can Victims Deal with the Situation

Victims of sexual harassment on the job don’t have to suffer in silence because the law protects them. In fact, they should not worry that they may be retaliated against once they speak up. This illegal practice must be stopped and one way to do this is to make it known to others. And this is where employment lawyers in charlotte nc can help. A great attorney will help protect victim’s rights and ensure they get the justice they deserve.

Is It Truly Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment that occurs on the job is a form of workplace discrimination. A variety of behavior constitutes sexual harassment which targets both people of all gender. For a behavior to be a form of sexual harassment, it must involve unwanted sexual advances or unwelcome conduct like touching or demands for sexual favor that occurs due to the sex or gender of the victim. Also, the perpetrator’s behavior should cause a tangible employment action or is serious enough to make the working environment of the victim sexually hostile.

Sexual Assault vs Sexual Harassment

Sexual assault is a type of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can be performed by the offender repeatedly.  But, sometimes, a single incident is already serious enough to change the victim’s employment terms and conditions.

If the offender is a direct supervisor, the employer must be held liable for these actions unless they can prove it had established a policy in place that prohibits harassment and the victim did not use their complaint procedures. If the harassment was performed by a coworker or non-employee the company has control over, they are liable for sexual harassment if they knew or should have known of the behavior and did not make an appropriate response.

What Victims Can Do

If you experience sexual harassment in your place of work, you should start documenting the harassment. Record all unwanted behavior and retain text messages, email, and other evidence that shows the conduct. Also, you need to seek legal advice. A lawyer can tell you if the behavior of the offender is considered sexual harassment and what you can do about it. It is a good idea to consult a lawyer even before you follow the anti-harassment complaint procedure of your company, especially if you think reporting will result in retaliation. For instance, if your employer has been ignoring several complaints of sexual harassment or firing those who have reported before, legal intervention might be essential.